PMH is in a “horrible state” but Health Minister remains optimistic

Minister of Health, Dr. Duane Sands.

Health Minister, Dr. Duane Sands, once again sounded the alarm on the “horrible state” of the Princess Margaret Hospital but said “the future is bright” for health care in the country.

Speaking at the Medical Association of the Bahamas 46th Annual Scientific Conference on Friday, Dr. Sands said there is a growing concern of violence and injury running up the cost of health care and crippling the country’s social systems.

“We have achieved significant legislation over the past two years governing stem cell research and registration and licensing of physicians,” he said.

“This deserves recognition as we are leading the way in our region. The future looks bright. We stand on the shoulders that come before us.”

Last week, Dr. Sands told Eyewitness News the country’s escalating crime problem is creating more traffic in an already strained Accident and Emergency department of the Princess Margaret Hospital.

According to health minister, persons seeking standard care are often put to the side for victims of violent crimes.

“While many of the victims die at the scene,” he said, “you still have a number of people that arrive that require emergency surgery. They consume resources in the intensive care unit, they use blood from the blood bank, they take up spaces in the ward, etc., and most of those patients do not contribute much of anything towards the tremendous cost to care for them this is a consequence of the choices that we made as country and the impact of crime on the impact of people with diabetes, and heart problems and stroke cannot be underestimated”.

At the conference, Dr. Sands also recognized the large number of physicians who successfully completed their education and will be serving at clinics and PMH.

“I have been advised that there will be 75 medical students graduating and who will be applying for internships in The Bahamas,” he said. “There is also a very large number of physician staff not enrolled in post-graduate programmes, yet we have a shortfall of physicians serving in our community clinics and the Family Islands.

“At this time we will have 40 spots for interns and we will ensure that every department in the hospital has its complement of physicians; as well as we will have adequate staff for the community clinics and the Family Islands. We will closely monitor our health outcomes as we embark on this new approach. We will support advances with new technologies; and it would be important for us to maintain these technologies to ensure return on investment.”